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AI stethoscope technology that can detect heart failure receives FDA clearance


Apr 4, 2024

According to the CDC, there are more than 6 million Americans living with heart failure. Additionally, a 2020 study published in the journal of the American Medical Association found that globally, more than 11 million people have heart failure with reduced ejection fraction, or a weak heart pump. A recent advancement in artificial intelligence from the Mayo Clinic and Eko Health has made it possible to detect signs of heart failure within seconds using a specially designed stethoscope.

The stethoscope, which has been in use since 1816, has been updated with AI technology to allow doctors to listen to the heart and lungs and interpret the sounds they hear more accurately. While additional tests like CT or MRI scans are often necessary for a definitive diagnosis, doctors also use an electrocardiogram (ECG) to measure the heart’s electrical activity.

Lindsey Theis from Scripps News spoke with Connor Landgraf, a biomechanical engineer and CEO of Eko Health, who has personal and professional experience with improving healthcare through technology. Landgraf shared how important it is to detect diseases early and how AI can help with this goal.

By training the AI program with over 100,000 patient recordings, a team at Mayo Clinic and Eko Health developed a technology that can quickly analyze a person’s heart health in just seconds. This technology can identify early signs of heart failure with low ejection fraction, which are often difficult to detect using traditional methods. Dr. Paul Friedman, a cardiologist at Mayo Clinic, emphasized the importance of early detection for effective treatment of heart failure.

The newly approved AI-equipped stethoscope is available for purchase at $429 with a monthly subscription. This innovation not only improves detection of heart diseases but also showcases the potential for AI to enhance healthcare services in various fields.

By editor

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